“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” – Henry David Thoreau
If you are coming from Baltimore, like I do – condolences – take this short cut from York rd. Turn right onto E. Piney Hill rd and follow it to the right before it becomes Hereford rd. At the end turn right again onto Monkton rd. Parking is just before The Monkton Hotel Cafe on the right. Space is limited so come early or you’ll end up on the street with your vehicle. 🙁
In the summer months – especially on weekends – this place is jam packed, thanks to tubing. 🍩
Since both mile trackers decided to quit on me – AllTrails totally cut off and ResQwalk partially did – I didn’t really know how far up the next mile marker will be so just turned back at one of the benches we’ve reached. It seemed far enough to me in this heatwave we’ve been having. (Turned out to be at 1.5 mile from starting point.)
So long story long….we have cheated a bit this time. Next day we drove up to Weisburg rd. and walked back to that same bench we have reached a day before as our turnaround point. I – however – will make this one continuous post. It is 3.6 miles between the two parking lots so if you’re not up for walking 7.2 miles at once going back to Monkton, follow suit making it a two day “hike”.
Since it’s Monday and before 8 am the small parking lot is pretty much empty. We got to have the trail for ourselves a lot too. Even though it’s going to be another hot day, here in the woods only the humidity is a factor.
Teasing us with following the path is Little Gunpowder River but unfortunately access points are scarce. While we are looking for signs of a passage to take us down to the cooling waters we have come across some interesting insects.
And also a ruin of a small footprint building which was possibly part of the rail system, built in 1832. Wow. I would love to see new construction last 200 years.
These rocks remind me of slate, just bigger chunks.
We have finally come across a steep entrance to the river….hallelujah.
The water is nice and chilly and shallow enough that we could cross to the other side.
Spending about 10 minutes cooling down, we climb back up on the trail and continue marching north.
We discover some other critters….
….before reaching mile marker 8.
It always amazes me how the terrain can change within just a few hundred feet. Nature sure gives us plenty to look at.
Like these simple but beautiful wildflowers.
Just before reaching 1.5 mile there is this wooden fence on the left, where we can descend again – walking through hundreds of Orange Coneflowers with an army of buzzing insects – to take a dip.
The water is crystal clear and still just about 10 inches deep.
Mag is in heaven….
On the way out from the river he takes a roll in the high grass. It wouldn’t be a walk without rolling around all the chances he gets.
So this is the picnic table we have turned around at the day before but now I will pretend we didn’t and carry on with the post.
I have just noticed that there is another path at this particular spot to the river. It’s a bit challenging with Mag but I managed to get down and then come back up while lifting/hoisting/pushing/shoving him over the roots and the slimy trench. DO NOT recommend!
Even though he enjoyed cooling down, the water was much deeper here and intimidated him just a bit. He kept jumping into the water from the driftwood but then freaked out and was trying to jump back on it. He got a great exercise out of it.
Wildlife pics ⬇️
As soon as we get back up on the trail, we come across a lady walking with her two smaller dogs and they both seem to be wet. Making small conversation, I ask her where did they go and if it was a good spot? She points towards up north just a few hundred feet from us on the left, telling us to take the path where there is a blue sign on one of the trees and orange warning posts of fiber optic cables. She says it’s an amazing beachy spot on the river.
Thanks to her, we have ended up on this awesome, pretty long, river beach.
Soon after, now reenergized and cool as cucumbers, we reach mile marker 9.
The first street we cross from Monkton is Bluemount road….
….then shortly after, Wilson rd.
One of the bridges provides us with a bit more interest than others with its structure as well as its surroundings. Mag likes to discover everything so he goes and investigates the “Stream gaging station”‘s tiny house.
I was lucky enough to spot these beauties on the way as well.
We have quickly reached mile marker 10. We are cooking with gas.
So many times these two days we felt like we had the whole trail for ourselves.
Spotted this silo close to Weisburg rd. on the right tucked into the woods beyond a field. Sort of reminds me of the space shuttle.
Getting really close to our destination. Passing Hunter Mill rd.
Yay! We have made it! For my biggest surprise there is a post office here so I could mail a letter I had with me for weeks. Sorry Krisztina if you get your bday card late. I’ll call you!
There is also an antique shop barn at this stop. We’ll maybe check it out next time.
Unfortunately as I said, both trackers quit on me but distance should be around 3.6 miles from Monkton to up here (White Hall). I was able to register the distance the day before though, when we turned back from a picknick table at mile 1.5.
Total length is around 7.6 miles including walking down to the water so many times.
Totally loved this walk from Monkton, we might do it again in one of these days. Ta-ta!